Fraser: 'It's taken a long time to get here'
PUSHING for the Coffs Harbour Bypass for several years, Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser is just one of many local residents relieved by today's funding announcement.
"It's great news, it's taken a long time to get here,” Mr Fraser said.
"The design is all but complete and we've now got the money to actually put the spade in the ground sooner rather than later, which is what I've been pressing for, for a long time.
"The initial start date was 2020, but the budget announcement tomorrow by the Feds will give us an opportunity to start earlier and get the congestion out of the city during the holiday times.”
The Coffs Harbour Bypass project is expected to cost $1.2b. The Federal Government has announced it will contribute $971m while the State Government has committed a total of $200m, leaving a question mark around the remaining $42m.
"Obviously it's under negotiation with the Federal Government and who knows what the final price is going to be. We've still got to account rock and other difficulties like rain, who knows,” Mr Fraser said.
"I've been in constant contact with Luke (Hartsuyker), but also with the Deputy Premiers and the treasurer. We only spoke a fortnight ago and I was very pleased with the indications I got, and I'm super pleased that it's now been officially announced.”
Over the years, Mr Fraser has been proactive in bringing other road projects to the area, including the Bonville Bypass and the Warrell Creek to Urunga Pacific Highway upgrade.
With the tragic road death toll reaching 13 at the Pacific Highway near Bonville between 2003-2005, Mr Fraser erected two large, bright orange 'Crash Zone' signs despite having no RTA approval.
Following a double fatal crash at Urunga in 2012, Mr Fraser lobbied for funding to be allocated to the Warrell Creek to Urunga Pacific Hwy upgrade.